The early morning will start like any other early morning. You have actually had your coffee, you’re geared up with your egg container and your filth boots.
You mosey on out into the bright early morning and head to your chicken cage. What takes place next takes your breath away.
Among your cherished chickens has actually been killed throughout the night …
If you own chickens, this might be a view you have actually come across eventually. If you are a brand-new owner, regrettably, it is an occasion that will probably interfere with your regular early mornings in the future.
Chicken predators are all over. It’s no surprise they are a nervous wreck and on edge continuously.
Depending upon where you live, you will probably need to handle a minimum of among the predators listed below.
It’s crucial to preemptively prepare for your flock’s security since, regrettably, when these predators get a taste, they normally attempt to come back for more.
The following details will assist you to determine common predators of chickens and identify the very best methods to keep your flock safe.
The Dirty Dozen– 12 Common Chicken Predators
No, we aren’t speaking about your fresh eggs. The following animals are the bad kids that we like to dislike when it concerns our valuable chicks.
Let’s have a look at the lineup:
1. Hawks- The Aerial Fierce Chicken Predators
These birds are daytime, aerial, chicken predators that have an outstanding vision which they utilize to zero in on their victims from their perches.
They are exceptionally quick and attack by diving towards their victim at very quick speeds, frequently killing their victims on effect.
If your chickens are on the smaller-sized sides, such as bantams, hawks might choose to bring them off to take them to a more secure place.
2. Owls Chicken Predators
Owls are animals of the night, though they have actually been seen assaulting their victim throughout the day.
They act likewise to hawks since they assault from the sky and tend to squash their victim.
3. Raccoons Chicken Predators
Raccoons are triple-trouble predators. They present a minimum of 3 various issues for you and your chickens.
They enjoy eggs and will take them if they can. Their small paws are finger-like and they can reach into your nesting boxes to get fresh eggs.
If they are brave enough and starving enough, they will most definitely assault a chicken for food (frequently ripping your chicken’s avoid very first).
Like lots of other chicken predators on this list, they bring illnesses that can be hazardous to your chickens and your household.
It is best to do whatever possible to keep these lovable burglars out of your chicken cage.
4. Opossums Chicken Predators
Like raccoons, opossums like eggs and in alarming circumstances chickens.
Opossums tend to be a bit lazier so they would more than likely look for eggs and infant chicks, however do not believe that they would not desire a delicious chicken supper if the chance emerged.
5. Foxes Chicken Predators
An olden chicken farmer’s opponent, the fox is whatever you would envision it to be when it pertains to the best chicken predator.
Exceptionally nimble, and quick, your chickens will not understand what struck them. If you are a newbie chicken owner and have not ever seen a genuine fox, it will not be long now.
A fox will invest days staking your chickens prior to its very first attack.
They are sly and wise, and when they do attack they tend to attempt to take the whole chicken (or chickens) with them when they leave.
A fox can leap fences, dig under them, and discover the sneakiest methods into your cage.
The worst part? Once they know how to get in, have had a delicious treat, they will be back for more.
6. Domestic Dog Chicken Predators
If you have pets of your own, up until they are trained, they ought to also be thought-about as unsafe victims for your chickens.
Even if they get ahold of simply among your treasured hens, that might be the nail in the casket for the rest of your flock.
It is much easier to train a pup to mature with chickens instead of presenting an adult pet to your flock.
Some types, such as animals guardian pet dogs, are bred to monitor your animals.
Rounding up types, like Border Collies, might believe they are assisting by lurking around after your flock. Make sure to comprehend your breed and put in the time to present your flock thoroughly.
Area pet dogs might likewise be a problem. Simply when you believe you have your own canines trained well-enough, your next-door neighbor’s pooch will appear and have a banquet.
Even the most trained canines might wander off from their house if they smell or hear chickens.
It would not be a bad concept to nicely talk with your next-door neighbors prior to you bring house your chickens to let them know about the modifications occurring on your farm so that they can prepare.
7. Coyotes Chicken Predators
Coyotes act like domestic canines without the human intervention element. They will frequently hunt in groups or sets and do so in the evening.
Thankfully, coyotes tend to be scared of people so they are easier to frighten off your flock if you happen to capture them in the act.
Coyotes are resourceful and persistent predators that can do extensive damage to your chicken coop. These nighttime predators will go out hunting whenever they feel hungry or have the chance.
A coyote pack, not just one, will descend onto a chicken buffet set up in a way that’s convenient for them. For killing hens, they aim straight for the neck.
They’ll kill a chicken, then take it out of the coop and eat it somewhere else. But coyotes in desperation won’t think twice about staying to hunt, and they might even steal your entire flock if they have to.
Make sure that coyotes are the cause of the problems with your chickens by looking for indications of fighting and coyote tracks in the area of your coop.
Keeping your birds in a Coyote-proof coop and making your property less appealing to coyotes are the two most effective ways to protect them from this predator.
Most commonly, coyotes are drawn to the scent of dog food, but they may also eat garbage, birdseed, and even small animals if they look to be easy pickings.
In the event that you already have a problem with coyotes, there are a few options available to you. In the United States, many farmers employ the services of livestock guardian dogs, which are specifically trained to protect livestock from predators like coyotes.
Even if it is against the law to shoot a coyote, you can still drive it away by firing off a few warning shots. Traps can also be used, but you should keep them away from your poultry, kids, and pets.
Electric fences and motion-detection cameras placed around your property and chicken coops are also effective deterrents from coyotes. If you need help or advice, you can also contact the local Animal Control office.
8. Cats Chicken Predators
Cats are common, unsuspecting predators of chickens, especially young birds and small chicken breeds like Bantams, Seramas, Silkies, or Cochins. This is because cats’ natural hunting instincts are triggered by the small size and jerky movements of these birds.
Cats aren’t certain to attack your hens, and a well-behaved predatory cat can be beneficial if you have a coop full of mice. Without mice, snakes won’t have the incentive to hang out in your coop unless there’s a broody hen or some young chicks to eat.
Some cat owners will witness the fact that cats have fallen prey to predators like hawks, raccoons, and foxes despite their status as Apex predators, which means they are at the top of the food chain and have no predators that particularly target them as food.
While cats won’t defend your hens from hawks or foxes, they can help keep the mice and rats at bay surrounding your coop.
Having a “coop cat” can be helpful, but it also comes with some drawbacks. Although coop cats socialized with chickens as kittens tend to avoid adult birds, even the most devoted feline may succumb to the temptation of a newborn chick.
A cat’s inherent drive to hunt is sparked by the jerky movements of baby chicks.
Mice, rats, snakes, and other rodents can all be deterred with the help of a cat. Unneutered male cats will mark their territory with spray, discouraging rodents, snakes, and other predators.
Some male cats, especially those who are not neutered and are quite territorial, can spray you, your hens, and their food if they feel threatened. In my own experience, the spray of neutered male cats has no effect on rodents.
Cats using feed pans where chicken food has been placed might spread disease to your flock. Farms with cats should hang bird feeders so that the food is out of the cat’s reach or hang them at a height of about breast level.
Female cats are renowned for their hunting prowess and are effective mousers; yet, they have been known to mistake feed pans for litter boxes.
Hunter males and females alike have flaws, such as an innate need to chase anything remotely like a chicken or young chick. If you decide to buy a cat to keep the mice at bay in your coop, ensure sure it has no way of getting to the baby chicks or smaller breeds.
Since most cats won’t assault your birds in front of humans, a hidden camera is a great way to monitor how your cat behaves around your hens. If your cat gives you a freshly killed baby chick, consider it a trophy.
In the same way that you shouldn’t leave your cat unattended anywhere near young chickens, you also shouldn’t let your cat get hungry. Mice and other rodents are an important food source for snakes, but even a well-fed cat will often go after them and kill them.
When famished, cats have been known to snack on eggs. It’s tough to get youngsters to stop eating eggs once they start. A mouse or cat can be to blame if you discover shattered eggs without any sign of the nestlings.
9. Skunks Chicken Predators
They are more interested in the chicken’s eggs than the chicken itself, although they will take advantage of any situation that presents itself. Whenever and however they can find food, that’s what they’ll eat.
It’s safe to assume that a skunk would devour the egg if it were ever trapped in a coop with a chicken.
The skunk is armed to the teeth with razor-sharp claws. They’ll use those weapons to attack as well as defend themselves. In most cases, they will only launch an attack if they are confident of victory.
When facing an opponent you know will result in your death, there is no purpose in engaging in battle. Unfortunately, a chicken has virtually little chance of survival when confronted by a skunk, an animal that can be just as violent as it is.
If the skunk has sprayed before, the situation is even more dire. The spraying action has the potential to knock victims unconscious by irritating their eyes to the point where they are unable to detect an impending attack.
A skunk should be able to take on any opponent, at least in theory.
Adult hens are relatively safe from skunks. Aside from the obvious, you’ll also need to watch out for the chicken’s claws and beak. However, they are known to prey on both young chicks and eggs, which can lead to a dangerous confrontation.
10. Weasels Chicken Predators
These tricky little chicken predators can suit the tiniest nooks and crannies on your cage.
They will frequently eliminate for a light treat, leaving the majority of the bird( s) behind.
11. Bobcats Chicken Predators
Bobcats are an especially nasty predator. They have all the same drive and abilities as a domestic feline, except for the truth that they are much bigger and wild.
Because of their bigger size, they can enter less strong structures. If you have bobcats in your location make certain that your cage is structurally sound.
12. Snakes Chicken Predators
Snakes can be a threat to both young chicks and your breakfast eggs.
They can wriggle in through the little openings and take in chicks or whole eggs, which frequently leaves you questioning what in fact happens.
Snakes have actually likewise been known to establish dwellings in some hen homes so watch open for these burglars and make certain to eradicate them as quickly as you see them.
When Do Predators Most Often Strike?
When a predator attacks generally rely on 2 things: the kind of predator and where the chicken is at the time of the attack.
Nighttime predators (like owls and opossums) will move under the cover of darkness.
When these predators assault your flock, you will most likely not even understand it up until it is far too late.
Many attacks tend to occur in the evening, when your chickens, and you, are embedded for the night.
When your chickens settle in to roost for the night, they entirely have a look at it for the night.
This is why most chicken owners enter their cages in the evening if they require to manage their chickens for medicating or moving.
Chickens are practically sluggish or dazed during the night, and simple to capture. This likewise makes nighttime the ideal time for a predator to attack.
Throughout the day, predators like domestic pet dogs and hawks are generally the enemies to watch out for.
It’s a scary sight to see a hawk get a whole chicken and fly with it, or perhaps worse crush it in front of your eyes.
While many predators attack throughout the night, there are a handful of daytime opponents to keep an eye out for. The majority of them will originate from above.
Typical Techniques of Chicken Predators Attack
It is necessary to comprehend the various methods a chicken can get assaulted so you can fight it preemptively.
Understanding the habits of the leading predators will assist you to develop a safe home for your chickens.
As discussed previously, aerial attacks prevail and are typically challenging to anticipate.
A hawk or owl will enjoy your chickens, sometimes without your understanding, and after that dive and either squash your chicken or bring it off depending upon the size of the two birds.
As unfortunate as it sounds, chickens are at threat from every angle.
Specific predators will dig under your fences to reach your valuable flock.
You might believe you purchased the very best fencing possible, however, if you do not have the proper setup, a few of the nastiest predators will just go under the fence to get their chicken supper.
Weasels, for instance, can make themselves much slimmer than they appear and will squeeze into a few of the tiniest openings to get to your chickens.
Some snakes will even discover their method into your cage and have their method with your chicks.
Remarkably enough, groups of little animals might assault a single chicken to share the meal.
An example of this is a group of starving barn felines.
If they are starving enough, they might pick to gang up on a bigger chicken in the evening and have a banquet of the carcass.
Where Is My Chicken Probably to Be Assaulted?
Where you choose to keep your chickens depends upon your area and choice for your birds.
If you understand you remain in the middle of a high-predator location, it is more than likely in your benefit to keep your chickens in a cage.
If you have an Animals Guardian Pet in addition to some safe houses for your chickens to conceal in on your home, you might decide to let your feathered buddies free-range.
Cage attacks are exceptionally discouraging due to the fact that you understand you have actually put time, effort, and cash into your chicken cage.
Security was your leading issue, so when a predator attacks your chickens in their own house, you will feel both stunned and dissuaded.
If this takes place to you, feel in one’s bones that sadly, it is all a part of owning chickens and the finding out procedure.
One bird has actually been compromised however you can take actions to prevent the exact same sort of attack from taking place if you have the ability to recognize the predator and technique of entry.
If your birds are free-range, it is far more most likely that you will lose birds more regularly than if you kept them in a cage.
Some feel that it is a little rate to pay to provide your flock the flexibility that they will take pleasure in from being free-range.
Free-range birds are at threat from all kinds of attacks and predators.
Daytime and nighttime are all similarly hazardous for your chickens. There are a couple of things you can do to avoid loss.
How to Prevent Loss from Chicken Predators
It’s extremely crucial to know the chicken predators in your location and what makes them tick. If you have the ability to do this, you can constantly remain one step ahead of them.
There are a couple of extra steps you can require to ensure your precious flock is as safe as possible.
Roosters are a subject of debate and it appears that they have actually made bad credibility.
Not everybody is able to own their own rooster due to city regulations prohibiting the master of early morning alarm clocks.
If you have the ability to own a rooster, certainly take it into account to consider.
They handle the problem of safeguarding their hens throughout the day. If you have free-range birds, including one rooster to your flock can make a big distinction in the number of chickens you lose to predators.
Aerial predators are frequently discouraged by a big rooster.
He keeps his eye on the sky at all times while his girls forage for food. If he identifies a hawk, he will notify his hens and after that puff himself up making it appear like he is even larger than he is.
Frequently, this suffices to turn the hawk off, not wishing to do battle with such a big bird.
Dogs that have actually been raised with your flock, and trained to treat them with care, could be a lifesaver.
There are a handful of types of pet dogs that fall under this classification, and usually, they are durable types that can endure the aspects and invest the majority of their time with animals.
A few of the more popular types to think about are the Anatolian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees, and the Komondor.
If you have the area, and time to handle among these faithful breeds, they will frequently safeguard your flock from all kinds of predators, consisting of a few of the bigger ones.
If you do not have time to train a canine buddy for your flock, an excellent technique of security is poultry fencing and netting.
The fencing is ideal for securing your chickens due to the little hexagonal spaces which avoid predators from entering your cage.
Chicken wire (fencing) has actually been around because of the 1800s and as they say, if it ain’t broke do not repair it!
Poultry netting is a bit various because is it a net-like product that is usually utilized to cover your chicken run or any other exposed location that leaves your chickens at risk of an attack.
Typically, poultry netting is put above chickens avoiding aerial predator attacks.
You can likewise find electrical, portable poultry fencing that assists keep predators from going into.
This is an excellent choice if you choose to keep your chickens on the move instead of in one location. It is affordable, lightweight, and typically solar energy.
Given that a number of your chickens’ predators invest their time on the ground, they frequently find their means into the cage by digging under your fencing.
This can quickly be resolved with the addition of a skirt or underground fence.
Numerous chicken owners will just flex their fencing outside on the bottom to hinder the predators. Others will decide to bury the fencing instead of letting it sit on top of the ground.
This will likewise avoid predators from getting in. They end up being dissuaded and stop their efforts if it appears that the fence never ever ends.
Automatic Cage Doors
Nighttime predators will strike in the night when you are fast asleep and your chickens have actually zonked out for the night.
If you have actually been leaving your cage door open during the night, you are leaving your feathered buddy susceptible to an attack.
If it is not possible to lock your cage every night, automated doors are the choice for this issue.
Considering that chickens naturally go back to their house roost each night, you do not need to attempt to round them up.
You can set automated doors on timers to be sure all of your chickens have actually returned house before locking the doors.
The Secret To Gather Durability
When you include a flock in your household, you undoubtedly fall for chickens, and the scrumptious eggs they produce.
Losing a few of your birds to predators can be ravaging.
The secret to keeping a cage filled with delighted and healthy chickens is prevention.
Knowing the kinds of predators in your neighborhood, and how they act, will assist you to develop a safe environment for your flock.
With correct prevention, you can awaken to many early mornings filled with coffee, crowing, and clucking.
- Check this out! This hawk thought he’d have a chicken dinner until he met our hens”. Rustic Road Farm – via Facebook.
- AFP (March 12, 2019). “Chickens ‘teamed up to kill fox’ at Brittany farming school”. Theguardian.com. Archived from the original on March 13, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- Chickens team up to ‘peck fox to death‘“. The Independent. March 13, 2019. Archived from the original on March 15, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- “Why Do Chickens Puff up Their Feathers? I 4 Reasons Explained”. Retrieved June 16, 2021.